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Consumer Reports: iPhone trumps BlackBerry

updated 04:05 pm EST, Tue December 18, 2007

CR on iPhone vs BlackBerry

The iPhone has managed to outperform long-term competitors in the smartphone market, says a new study in the January 2008 issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine gives the Apple device an overall score of 64 versus 61 for RIM's BlackBerry Curve, pointing primarily to Apple's longer 8.25 hours of call time in testing versus the Curve's 6.25 hours and its improvements in ease of use and synchronization with computers. The BlackBerry's common advantage of its real-time "push" e-mail is beaten by Apple's inclusion of a stronger e-mail client, the publication claims.

Most other features are regarded as equals, though the consumer organization refers to the iPhone as the "best choice" between the two for media playback and criticizes both for limiting cellular Internet access to slow EDGE technology in place of HSPA. RIM has typically sold its handsets to business users and only began late last year to offer mainstream phones through the BlackBerry Pearl and the 2007 release of the Curve.

The Canadian cellphone maker was recommended chiefly among compact cellphones for the Pearl and was accompanied by a recommendation for the small, low-cost Palm Centro in the same category.

The report also sharply criticizes their frequent choices of carriers, noting that CDMA-based providers Verizon and Alltel generally provide higher overall satisfaction for call quality, coverage, and technical support than AT&T and its only major GSM-based rival, T-Mobile. The two tied for third place and are followed by the third chief CDMA carrier, Sprint, in fourth place. Verizon ranked the highest in part through fewer dropped calls and stronger signals.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The iPhone needs...

    to get real-time push e-mail and then the last nail will be driven into the RIM BlackBerry line. Alas, that won't probably happen even all of next year. RIM fans will have the last laugh and the BlackBerry will remain iPhone untouchable.

    I guess Apple should consider itself lucky that the iPhone beat out the BlackBerry by even a tiny margin.

  1. BelugaShark

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: the iphone needs...

    I think you might've misread the article it says RIM's Push was beaten by Apple's stronger email.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: the iphone needs

    No, I don't think he missed that. People who need/want push email find it much more important over a 'stronger' email client.

    Then again, it's consumer reports. Who cares what they say when it comes to computers and electronics? They've been clueless on apple for all these years....

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969


    corp push email = must

    yeah, corporate push email is def. a must, as is IMO video recording (640x480@30fps at least).. Maybe after the SDK comes out next Feb..

    (BTW, does iPhone handle IMAP IDLE?)

  1. freetimecreation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Finding keys to type

    Yes the iPhone is revolutionary and with many features it beats out the Blackberry, but the touch screen keyboard has me hesitant to get one. How do you type in the dark, or in a meeting under your desk? Many people, can text really fast without looking at their phone and are very quick at it. I don't see how without feeling where your fingers are. one can text as quick on a iPhone as on a blackberry.

  1. mschmid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Broswer comparisons??

    I'm surprised they didn't mention internet browsers. There are many web sites I can't use from a Blackberry, where as Safari finally brings web browsing to a small device.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In the dark?

    You can't really type by touch alone, but as far as speed goes, the last report I read stated that on average iPhone users could type 10 WPM faster than people on phones with hard keyboards. It takes some getting used to, but it's really very efficient.

    And yes, come on, of course you can type on it in the dark. it's an illuminated screen. Think about it.

    As far as push email, you can set the iPhone email client to check mail automatically once a minute. For most people, even for business use, that's fast enough.

  1. gambit-7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In response to freetim...

    An an iPhone user first, the company issued me a BlackBerry and, you know what? They can keep it. I've pleaded with them to take it back, and have volunteered it many times for my other coworkers looking to "upgrade" their old BlackBerry's to the newest one (the one I have). They all laugh. They think I'm joking.

    They're starting to learn I'm not.

    One of the biggest gripes, as Jobs eloquently stated last January: is the bottom 40. Now that I'm accustomed to having an onscreen keyboard that gets out of my way when I don't need it, I can't seem to get used to static keyboards.

    I suppose I could understand why someone might want touchable keys, but ... they're so small. It's awkward to type on because the keys are so small, and slow because you have to be so precise to hit the keys. In comparison, the iPhone's keys may look small, they aren't because the software actually invisibly changes their tapping area size based on each character you hit and the likelihood of the word you're trying to type. While this all sounds delightfully boring, the practical effect is I don't have to be completely accurate with the letters I hit, which works out amazingly well in terms of writing complete sentences quickly.

    As for people who can type on their BlackBerry's without looking: I don't know, man. That skill is like Big Foot: everyone says they know a guy, but nobody's actually ever seen it. I know I haven't. I'm not saying they don't exist; I'm sure they do. The truth is out there, and whatnot. It's just, you know... I've, personally, never seen it. Either way, it never even hit me that you wouldn't want to be looking at the screen while you type, but to each his own.

    Anyway, I think I'm going to go bribe the Exchange admin for a little "test". That'll pretty much obliterate the need for the BlackBerry, I think.

    Oh, by the way, at least three directors that I've seen own iPhones. They've also retired their BlackBerry's.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    push is smoke & mirrors

    This is the most insidious argument, as it is actually total fallacy. Let's examine: a Blackberry server is usually set up to synchronise (or replicate, as the case may be) with the main corporate mail server(s). For any reasonably large corporation, this happens on a schedule (5, 10, 15 minutes). That blackberry server then immediately pushes any new messages to the devices. Now, If I send a message to a user in such a corporation, my message will sit on their mail server until the next sync with the BB server, at which point it will be pushed to my mobile device. How exactly is this different from the same message sitting until my iPhone goes and fetches it? In both cases the checking runs on a schedule. I know there are small companies with a single server that can immediately push e-mail to the blackberries, but they don't seem to be the ones bringing up this as the ultimate red flag.

    To recap: corporate 'push' is a colossal load of c***. After having BB for six years, I can confirm that the device sometimes took up to ten minutes to receive a message that had already arrived on the (Lotus Notes) desktop. And I am sure vast majority of these corporations are running their BB setups with similar configuration.

    As a parting note, just to chime in as the resident grammar n***: BlackBerries (plural); BlackBerry's (possessive form).

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And hey, AT&T is tied for third place with T-Mobile. They used to be in fourth place. A few more improvements and I might consider an iPhone.

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